ALEATORY #22: Fuck Buttons

Though it's a little late to say it, as everyone knows by now: Fuck Buttons, the experimental duo of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, are intense. Even their name is intense. While probably a noun, Davecat has always hoped their name was an imperative, or a declaration of dissatisfaction with traditional clothing fasteners. With a sound somewhere between blistering noise and epic post-rock, the two electronically shredded their way into our hearts with their debut full-length Street Horrrsing last year, and it's been zippers and velcro ever since. Both gentlemen took time out of their busy schedule to be the subject of our twenty-second Aleatory, and we are, as always, extremely grateful.


AH = Andrew Hung
BP = Benjamin John Power

1. Favorite word?

Musk (AH)
Transparent (BP)

7. Favorite composer?

Arvo Pärt (AH)
Jon Hassell (BP)

11. Favorite music video?

Gihm's "Green Grass of Tunnel" (Múm) cover (AH)
"Window Licker" Aphex Twin (BP)

12. Favorite band when you were in high school?

Portishead (AH)
Nirvana (BP)

16. Favorite campfire story?

The one about the girl's pet python that starved itself to eat her. (AH)
I don't know any good stories about campfires (BP)

18. Favorite pick-up line?

I bet you've got a fanny. (AH)
You and me and a bottle makes three (BP)

33. What's something you could teach anyone in an hour or less?

How to emotionally manipulate your mother. (AH)
How to deal with being emotionally manipulated by one's mother (BP)

34. What's the best joke you heard recently?

I went to a seafood disco last night... Pulled a mussel! (AH)
What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt! (BP)

38. What is your family like?

Slowly deteriorating (AH)
All over the globe (BP)

40. What was your best/worst subject in school?

Maths/History (respectively) (AH)
Science/art (BP)

43. What's the road ahead look like?

Wonderous. (AH)
Exciting (BP)

46. Where do you keep things hidden? What do you keep hidden there?

Under my ball sack. Peanuts. (AH)
I have nothing to hide, but if I did it would probably be down at the bottom of my bag. I'm pretty sure there are things in there that I didn't even know about (BP)

52. At what point did you realize that music was going to be your full-time occupation?

I still haven't come to that conclusion. I believe that will be an answer that awaits me on my deathbed (not to be too morose, but it's true). (AH)
I knew this was wanted to do this for a living ever since I was young so to be able to do this is a priviledge (BP)

60. What's the worst show you've ever played? What would you have done different?

The one where we played to an end of year student party. I should have cried onstage not off it. (AH)
We played to only our support band once in Birmingham and if I could do things differently I would have made sure there were at least a few people there (BP)

66. Worst song you've heard recently?

The whole set of one of the bands I heard last night (AH)
That X Factor winner's cover of Hallelujah by Mr. Leonard Cohen (BP)

76. Dream collaboration?

Kate Bush (AH)
Suicide (BP)

79. Best concert you've ever been to?

Sonic Youth Roundhouse 2008 (AH)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Camber Sands (BP)

91. Which single album should be in everybody's home?

Hounds of Love (AH)
Raw Power by Iggy & the Stooges (BP)

99. Licensing your music out to companies for TV ads: good or bad?

I could write a book on my thoughts on this issue... but basically, 4x4 car ads = good, ethical companies = bad. (AH)
Uggg. It depends. Leave me alone (BP)

100. Even with the gradual decay of the B-side, most artists still have vaults of unreleased songs. What's in yours?

Peanuts. (AH)
Some of our first ever CDr's will probably never see the light of day. Just for me and Andy to drag out sometimes on reflect on how things have changed (BP)



Mashup King? America's favorite DJ? A man who is just grateful to do what he loves on a regular basis?

It's hard to come up with a good title for Bob Cronin (although he's more affectionately known as DJ BC). Yet Mashup King isn't a bad start. As the post-millenial craze of musical MP3 mashups was gradually turning into a ceritifed phenomenon, it was DJ BC who quietly began leading the pack with some innovative, controversy-stirring releases, starting with "The Beastles" (a famed Beatles/Beastie Boys mashup album) and -- shortly thereafter -- the innovative Glassbreaks release, wherein rap artists found their words mixed in with beats created solely from Philip Glass samples. Though both projects have long been unavailable, this hasn't stopped Bob from becoming one of the most notable mashup DJs this side of Girl Talk, and his latest release -- a fully-legit remix collaboration with Big D & the Kids Table -- has even given him some rock cred as well. Now of course, comes his greatest challenge: mixing and matching up some answers with the latest Globecat Aleatory, here talking about his desire to play the piano, being disappointed by Freddie Hubbard, and, of course, the sexiest thing about him.


5. Favorite piece of equipment?

Pioneer CDJ 1000's (X 2) . These babies allow scratching and turntable-type manipulation of CDs (and hence any digital sound I can burn to Cd) which means the world to someone who works with CDs rather than vinyl. I also find them much easier to work with than vinyl on many levels. And they do more. Speed up with no pitch change ftw! (this is where I get endorsed by Pioneer and get free gear).

12. Favorite band when you were in high school?

The Replacements! I loved 'em. I was trying to be a punk rock type, generally. I liked gothy, punky, skater-y bands. The Cure, The Sex Pistols, Ramones, Bowie, The Smiths, The Clash, that sort of thing. But the 'mats were probably the top. I also was WAY into 60's music, like Led Zep, The Doors, The Beatles, CSNY, The Byrds, and so forth.

13. Favorite Shakespearean play?

Probably Hamlet? That's the one I remember the best. And it has ghosts. This is a strange question to ask a DJ.

19. Favorite foreign film?

Withnail and I. It's British, so perhaps not as foreign as some other choices. But it is truly wonderful and a cult classic in Britain. All Americans should watch it. Use the subtitles or turn it up, those muttering Brits are brutal to understand.

28. What instrument would you most like to learn to play?


29. Who do you wish more people were listening to?

Me, and Big D and The Kids Table. We deserve massive success, free steaks and Abita beer.

38. What is your family like?

Loud, funny, large and kinda goofy. With a new layer of babies sprouting.

46. Where do you keep things hidden? What do you keep hidden there?

If I told you, they would no longer be hidden. Duh!

48. Biggest moment of triumph?

Opening for Coolio's Boston date, and the release of "Strictly Mixed and Mashed" - a 100% legit album.

55. You're curating a festival. If you could choose any two acts to open for you, who would they be?

Sheesh... ANY 2? and they are opening for ME? This is a difficult question. I am tempted to pick sucky acts, and then I would look better. But then everyone would leave. I would have to say...here's four that I would love to even see perform live. Being on the same stage with them would be mind blowing.
-Stevie Wonder
-David Byrne with the Talking Heads
-Reform the 1990's Brand New Heavies with all the guest rappers, ie Black Sheep, Pharcyde, Edo G, Kool G Rap, etc.

56. Have you ever considered writing or producing for other artists?

Yes, and I have done so - www.remixrevolution.com features two records I worked on with Big D and The Kids Table. Strictly Mixed and Mashed is a remix/mashup album I did with their music. Rude Remix Revolution is a collection of others remixes and fan mixes and the like, which I compiled with the help of Dave McWane. I've also done officically sanctioned remixes for Heaven 17 (formerly Human League), The AKAs (feat Gym Class Heroes), Uncle Shaker, VBMN and Sonic Boom Six.

Basically I want to do whatever I think will be fun, and hopefully win some listeners. And I hope that at some point, I will get a little interest and I can make my own record a la Mark Ronson.

66. Worst song you've heard recently?

The Free Credit Report bullshits. I want to kill them.

70. What is a personal belief you hold that you would fight for to the death?

Free Credit Report.com commercials suck massive donkey balls. I will defend that with my life. Please do not provide any links to their horribleness. They should not in any way benefit from my hatred.

76. Dream collaboration?

Collaboration with any of the rappers I admire would be a dream come true. Public Enemy, De La Soul, Q-Tip and/or Fife Dog, KRS One, Kanye... or any of my "opening acts" above. And being able to pull a sample or two from a classic rock song (or a funk classic) without fear of being sued into the stone age would be quite gratifying!

80. Worst run-in with the law (to date)?

Sort of getting busted with weed. The campus cops snagged me late one night. Brought me to like a trailer/substation on campus. Pushed me to narc for hours. I told them nada. They finally released me at like dawn. No charges. Still proud to have not narced.

84. Most disappointing concert you ever attended?

This is a tough one. I am tempted to say Freddie Hubbard in Manhattan, 1992-3 ish. You may know him as the player of the horn riff (from Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island") the 1990s rap group US3 used in their one hit song "Cantaloop." He was terrible. He could barely play. But his band was great- basically, they were respectful replicas of Hubbard's former contemporaries. There was a Coltrane-looking guy in a grey suit who dressed and played exactly like Coltrane. A Miles-looking guy, dressed in a red suit like Miles, with Miles' old trumpet, playing like Miles Davis. A piano player in a dashiki playing like Herbie Hancock. The only one who couldnt keep up was Freddie Hubbard, even though the young guys were carefully structuring everything around his pitiful, barely-able-to-make-a-note solos. And Hubbard was pretty angry about it. And the trainwreck was something to see. His band made him look worse, if anything.

90. Sexiest thing about you?

My penis.

91. Which single album should be in everybody's home?

The White Album (Beatles, natch). This record was formative for me. The range of styles, the dark patches (Helter Skelter, Piggies, Revolution 9), the Manson 'connection,' the sheer beauty of the more mellow tunes like "Blackbird" and "Mother Nature's Son"... there is so much here to love, scratch your head over, or both.

95. Do you ever read your own reviews?

Yes! If someone cares enough about me to review something, I care enough to read it!

96. The one thing that no one knows about you (yet)?

I am wonderful, yet I totally suck. I derserve large platters of cash to be brought to me by naked ladies. I like cats. My back hurts.


Visit DJ BC's website here.


ALEATORY #20: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Owen Ashworth feels your pain.

This is probably why he records so many damn good songs as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone -- as perfect and descriptive a band name as there's ever been. Maybe you've heard his songs, or seen Los Campesinos! lead singer Gareth wear a CFTPA T-shirt in the documentary that came with the group's We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed album, or maybe you'll just see Owen at SXSW this year, or pick up his new rarities album Advance Base Battery Life on March 10th, or maybe even pick up his new new album Vs. Children in April. No matter what though, Owen's aesthetic -- after all these years -- remains almost exactly the same: plug in a keyboard, turn on the mic, and just play it baby. We feel for you.

Congratulations to both him and us: this Globecat's 20th Aleatory -- thanks guys.


4. Favorite person to have worked with?

I used to work in a bakery with a woman named Kara who was really funny and great. we ate a lot of damaged baked goods together.

10. Favorite lyric?

I ain't no goddamn son of a bitch you better think about it baby

13. Favorite Shakespearean play?


14. Favorite sound?

Flute samples played in chords

15. Favorite exhibit or subject at the museum?

Wild animal taxidermy dioramas in natural history museums

17. Favorite plant?

I think it's a tie between kudzu and basil

39. What's something you could probably beat anyone you know at?

I don't mean to brag but I am very good at cribbage

40. What was your best/worst subject in school?

I took some anthropology classes in college that I did pretty well in. I never skipped my anthropology classes. I have never done very well with math. I skipped lots of math.

42. What's an image that haunts you to this day?

There was a picture of a dude who had done a mess of PCP and then cut off his face and fed it to his dogs. I saw it on the internet. I still think about it every once in a while and go "ugh" or "ack." Once you put something in your brain you can never take it out again, kids. Think twice before clicking those warning disturbing image links on www.snopes.com.

43. What's the road ahead look like?

It is covered with snow and hazardous

44. Something you've heard, know is false, but wish were true with all your heart?

I heard that polar bears hide their black noses with a front paw or leg when they hunt. This helps them blend in with the snow so they can sneak up on school children or seals or whatever. Sort of like a reverse negative Dracula. Polar Drac. I'm pretty sure this is not true but the image is too endearing and chilling to not want to believe in.

49. Now that you know a much larger audience will get to hear the music you've made, has your writing changed at all? How? What's changed and what's stayed the same?

Oh man I don't know. I think the biggest factor that has changed my writing has been my age. I get older and I think about different things so I want to sing about different things. Also, once you've written a song, you can't go around rewriting it forever so you actually have to come up with some different ideas every once in a while. I am averaging about thirty songs per idea these days.

54. So far in your career, what's been your proudest accomplishment?

Playing in Russia felt pretty nuts. I feel weird listing any names but there have been some people who I have been very proud to have met and shared mutual admiration with. Okay fine Tom Hanks.

57. Most rock star thing you've ever done?

I accidentally knocked all of my equipment off of a stage and the people in the front caught it and pushed it back upright. And everybody thought it was on purpose and some kind of cool trick. IT WAS NOT A COOL TRICK

63. Band/artist you're secretly envious of?

My friend Nick from No Kids because he lives in Canada and gets all kinds of amazing government grants to record expensive andfabulous sounding records. Also, because I would like to be able to play piano like him. I am pretty lousy musician and I am envious of lots of people's musical abilities.

67. Do you reach any kind of personal catharsis when it comes to songwriting/performing?

Yeah, I guess so

78. Your life has been reduced to a bumper sticker: what does it say?


92. Which venue are you dying to play but have not yet had the chance to?

I would like to play at the Warfield in San Francisco, CA. I saw Kraftwerk play there once and I hear it's haunted.

94. What's your hardest song to replicate live?

There are a few songs on my new record that were arranged for many more hands than I have. I haven't tried to play them live yet and I really don't know what to do with them. There are also plenty of old songs of mine that I just don't like to play because I just don't really like them anymore. I would find it hard to replicate those songs with any sort of sincerity, even though they aren't particularly difficult to play.

99. Licensing your music out to companies for TV ads: good or bad?

Shit I don't know. I haven't done it yet but maybe if I have a kid who needs braces some day I'll feel differently. You pick your battles, you know?


Visit Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's website.